Is there another food that screams summer, so loudly and so enthusiastically, as tacos do? If there is, I can’t think of it. To me, the two go hand-in-hand and I find myself craving crunchy, fresh tacos multiple times a week (usually loaded up with sour cream—I’ve shown a lot of restraint here as none of these recipes include it!).
Another great thing about tacos: they’re almost impossible to mess up, making them the perfect dish for even the most novice of foodies to whip up at home. You can make something as simple as a vegetable taco, loaded high with sautéed vegetables, in a matter of minutes—perfect for satisfying your craving after a busy day at work. This trio of summer taco recipes is a bit more in-depth, but not by much. And the payoff? Huge delicious bites of homemade tacos. Very worth it, my friends. Very. Worth. It.
It’s hard to pick a favorite of the bunch, but if I had to, these pulled pork tacos might fall at the top of my list. The smokey BBQ flavor is super evocative of summer, while the cilantro and onion give them a bit of a crunch.
To make these, I used my (not-so-secret anymore) secret pulled pork recipe. Heck yes it’s good on its own, but there’s just something about wrapping it up in taco form that makes it even better. Top with thinly sliced red onions, fresh cilantro (always fresh) and crumbled cojita cheese—a very neutral, very mild Mexican cheese. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and rejoice with all the meat eaters around you—this one is a winner.
Warning ahead: you might never cook shrimp the same way again after this recipe. It’s true; I’ve been making myself shrimp for dinner since I moved into my own apartment (they’re quick and healthy, so there ya have it), but since cooking up this recipe I literally refuse to make them any other way. Something about the combo of the honey and lime makes for the sweet-and-acidic perfect shrimp.
For this recipe, cook up some shrimp (I used about 10-12 in this recipe, but really you can just adjust the honey and lime according to how many shrimp you make. You can’t screw this up, promise!) in a skillet. I like to cook them fresh, with their shells on (it works too if you defrost shrimp that are still in their shells), flipping them occasionally until they get that telltale pink color. Allow to cool to the touch, then remove the shells and add the shrimp to a bowl. Add a bit of honey (1 tablespoon, if you’re cooking the amount of shrimp I did), lime juice (I used one lime) and lime zest, then mix to coat.
Add the shrimp to a taco shell, topping with sliced red cabbage (great for some crunch!) and cilantro lime avocado mush (basically just an avocado in a bowl with some chopped cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice!). I call it mush because I don’t know what else to call it. Not-quite-guac? Seriously if you think of a better name, please pass it along. I’m at a loss! Regardless, it’s an essentially delicious addition to this taco and you shouldn’t hold the fact that it has a silly name against it. It’s delicious.
Mmmmhmmmm. Fried food. Sometimes, there’s just nothing like it. If you’re a fish lover, you’ll love this beer battered recipe—it’s super light, crunchy and flakey. If you’re not a fish lover, I can’t make any promises—but you still might like it because hello, fried food.
- Filets of firm white fish, like tilapia
- Vegetable oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups beer
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
Add vegetable oil to a large skillet, about 1 1/2 inches high. Heat until it sizzles when a tiny bit of batter is dropped in (remove so it doesn’t burn). Coat your fish filet in flour, covering both sides. Shake of excess, then submerge the filet in the batter, allowing it to gain a thick coating. Gently place into the pan and allow to fry, flipping carefully when you’ve noticed that the bottle has hardened and browned (try not to move it around much until then). Cook until both sides are golden brown (about 4-5 minutes on each side). Remove from oil using tongs and allow to rest on a plate covered with paper towels.
Coat the taco first with chipotle aioli (I used this recipe), then add bits of the fish and finish with chunks of mango and red onion. Here’s to a taco-filled summer for all!